This comic shows how drought may have been an unhinging factor for Syria in 2011, and what happened over the following year.
That warning has become a global alert. Since the uprising against Assad in March 2011, over 240,000 people have been killed, 4 million Syrians have fled their country, and over 7 million have been displaced.
The headlines are full of the heartbreaking stories of these refugees — including young children — who have died trying to reach safety in other countries. The story of these refugees is deeply tied to the effects of climate change.
"We are experiencing a surprising uptick in global insecurity ... partially due to our inability to manage climate stress." That's how Columbia University professor Marc Levy (who also does studies for the U.S. government) summed it up.
What's happening in Syria and across Europe is part of a larger story that affects us all.